AFNET Rejuvenated Board of Directors

The previous Board members Prof. Thomas Meinertz, Hamburg, and Prof. Ursula Ravens, Dresden, resigned after many successful years of working on the AFNET Board of Directors. Prof. Meinertz, the former director of the Department of Cardiology of the University Heart Center Hamburg and current president of the German Heart Foundation, was active in the AFNET Board from the beginning in 2003 and lead the Clinical Research section. Prof. Ravens, director of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the Medical Faculty of Dresden University of Technology, joined the AFNET Board in 2006 and was responsible for the Basic Research section.

Due to the resignation of the two Board members, reelections to the Board were performed on 11th October 2012 during the AFNET general assembly in Hamburg. Prof. Breithardt and Prof. Steinbeck, both Board members from the AFNET beginnings, were reelected. Prof. Breithardt was reappointed as chairman of the Board. Prof. Steinbeck has assumed the position of deputy chairman and treasurer. Prof. Paulus Kirchhof and Prof. Michael Näbauer are the newly elected incoming Board members. The new Board members agree: “The elections to the Board give a clear signal of continuity and renovation. We are pleased about the confidence of the AFNET members, and we want to lead the AFNET into a successful future.”

Prof. Kirchhof, who is employed at the University of Birmingham in addition to his affiliation at the University of Münster, has been a member of the AFNET Steering Committee since 2003. As principal investigator of the clinical trials Flec-SL and EAST, his activities in the Board will also focus on clinical trials. Additionally he will get involved with scientific co-operations on a European level.

Prof. Näbauer, University Hospital Großhadern, Munich, together with Prof. Steinbeck, has managed the AFNET central patient registry and will bring his wide experience in clinical registries into the Board. He has been a member of the Steering Committee since 2011.

In addition, the AFNET Steering Committee has been extended by two additional scientists: the neurologist Dr. Karl Georg Häusler, Charité Berlin, and the physiologist and physician Prof. Ulrich Schotten, University of Maastricht, NL. Dr. Häusler has been a member of the AFNET Critical Event Committee and is engaged in interdisciplinary research in the field of stroke. Prof. Schotten focuses on basic research on the pathophysiology of atrial fibrillation. The two resigned Board members remain in the Steering Committee which now comprises the following members:

• Dr. Gerlinde Benninger, PhD, Münster
• Prof. Günter Breithardt, MD, Münster (Chairman of the Board)
• Prof. Andreas Goette, MD, Magdeburg / Paderborn
• Dr. Karl Georg Häusler, MD, Berlin
• Prof. Paulus Kirchhof, MD, Münster / Birmingham (Board member)
• Prof. Thorsten Lewalter, MD, München
• Prof. Thomas Meinertz, MD, Hamburg
• Prof. Michael Näbauer, MD, München (Board member)
• Prof. Michael Oeff, MD, Brandenburg
• Prof. Ursula Ravens, MD, Dresden
• Prof. Ulrich Schotten, MD, PhD, Maastricht
• Prof. Gerhard Steinbeck, MD, München (Deputy Chairman and Treasurer of the Board)
• Prof. Karl Wegscheider, PhD, Hamburg


The German Competence Network on Atrial Fibrillation (AFNET) is an interdisciplinary research network located in Germany. AFNET aims at improving care of patients with atrial fibrillation by promoting research, medical services and information in emerging diagnostic and therapeutic fields. The network has been funded by the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education since 2003.

About AFNET association Kompetenznetz Vorhofflimmern e.V.

As the public funding of the AFNET will not be everlasting, AFNET has founded the association Kompetenznetz Vorhofflimmern e.V. (AFNET e.V.) that will continue the network activities in the long term. Since the foundation of AFNET e.V. in 2010, the publicly funded network and the association have existed in parallel. In order to avoid a twofold management of committees, AFNET has transferred the duties of its committees to AFNET e.V.

So far, the association has about 90 members and is growing continuously. In addition, there are a large number of co-operation partners in numerous registries and trials. AFNET e.V. membership is possible for physicians, scientists, hospitals, private practices, and companies.

Kompetenznetz Vorhofflimmern (AFNET)
Albert-Schweitzer-Campus 1, Gebäude D11
Domagkstraße 11
D-48149 Münster, Germany

Contact for membership
Ursula Thöne
+49 251 83 45341

Press contact
Dr. Angelika Leute
+49 251 83 57113

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